Food grade plastic is plastic material which must be safe and create no toxics when contacting foods. That’s why food grade plastic shopping bags must meet strict food contact requirements that are in higher standards than bags used for other purposes. Let’s take a closer look at food grade plastic, what makes it safe for food over other types of plastic and some examples of its uses.
What is Food Grade Plastic?
Food grade plastic shopping bags must come from safe materials and in a safe environment. To be used in contact with food or food products, they must ensure the following standards:
To be protective: Bags to act as a defense against moisture or contamination without breaking down
Get durable: They need to last long enough to protect food items during manufacturing, packaging, storage, transportation
Keeping chemically safe: Plastic shopping bags do not contaminate food it comes in contact with. This means the plastic must have no tendency for “leeching”, or the potential for chemicals to seep into the food. Then, they could either affect the taste or cause adverse health effects for the consumer.
How Do Plastic Shopping Bags Become Food Grade?
To be certified as safe and labeled food grade, the plastic must be tested and meet strict standards set by the Food & Drug Administration and other regulating organizations.
Food Grade Plastic Materials
First, the FDA must approve of the materials to manufacture the food grade plastic. This verified organization will examine all ingredients and additives to ensure they are safe and will not affect the taste, odor, or color of food. They will also test the materials in the different weather status making sure that it keeps stable when the temperature changes. It also works in various humidity and moisture, or the presence of other chemicals, oils, or alcohols. This verifies that the plastic is able to hold up for packaging, manufacturing or other uses.
Food Grade Plastic Manufacturing Facility
Second, the facility to manufacture the food grade plastic must meet stringent cleanliness requirements. Then, manufacturers need to have good manufacturing practices in place to avoid potential risks of contamination of its products. Standards of the International Standards Organization ensure consistently high quality and clean products. ISO 9000 is the most important standard which most food grade plastic manufacturers must comply to be marketed internationally.
Food Grade Plastic Certifications
Lastly, once the food grade plastic has been used to make plastic film or bags to ship, store, or transport food, its quality will be checked again by the manufacturer and attributed with the correct certifications for food grade and safety.
The Food Safety System Certification (FSSC 22000) is one example of a food safety certification for food grade plastic. With this certification, a quality management system ensures food grade plastic products to continue throughout the product’s lifetime. That is from manufacturing to the end consumer, to ensure it is consistently high quality and food safe
Uses of Food Grade Plastic
Food grade plastic plays a vital role in many applications, from the packaging and shipping of crops to the supermarket. Also, it contributes the development and distribution of pharmaceutical products. Different types of food grade plastic materials handle different products or different environments. A few examples of food grade plastic include:
High-density polyethylene (HDPE): milk jugs, grocery bags, squeeze-dispenser bottles
Polyvinyl chloride: cling wrap, high clarity food storage bags
Low-density polyethylene (LDPE): produce bags, bread bags, can rings
All of these materials are food grade to provide a safe material for food packaging, storage, and consumption. They are made in a strictly controlled environment to ensure that consumer safety remains top priority.
Are you looking for food grade plastic bags or food contact stretch film? HANPAK JSC can provide with that. From frozen foods to bread to produce like peppers and potatoes, we offer a variety of poly bags to suit any need. With custom printing also available, we can develop a custom food-grade poly bag for any company with any need.